Bach: Easter Oratorio & Actus tragicus
For all the Pascal jubilation of the Oratorio, it's the simple, unaffected solace of the Actus Tragicus, however, that steals the show...Gardiner slims down his forces from the 23 voices of the Oratorio down to a dozen. His tempos are beautifully interrelated so that everything leads to (and from) the central pause that consigns the mystery of death to utter silence.”
Bach, J S:
Easter Oratorio BWV249
Recorded in London, June 2013
Cantata BWV106 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit' (Actus tragicus)
Hannah Morrison (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo), Nicholas Mulroy (tenor) & Peter Harvey (bass)
Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner
This album follows the acclaimed release of the Ascension Oratorio. It features soloists Hannah Morrison (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo), Nicholas Mulroy (tenor), Peter Harvey (bass). The Easter Oratorio, one of the less performed of Bach’s choral works, was first composed as a simple cantata and later revised to become a more polished piece with a meditative emphasis.
Actus tragicus, composed for a funeral, has an unusually soft toned instrumentation (recorders, viola da gamba and organ) which make it sound both consoling and full of optimism.
The album is packaged in our usual casebook packaging and contains a 28 pages booklet with notes by John Eliot Gardiner and texts in German, English and French.